Posted: 10:10 am Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Reclass: Does Gwinnett get favorable treatment in AAAAAA? 

By Todd Holcomb

When the GHSA set the region alignments for 2014-15, many asked why Tucker and Lakeside of DeKalb County weren’t put in a region with their nearest Class AAAAAA neighbors, which are Gwinnett County schools such as Parkview and Berkmar.

The answer is that the GHSA prefers to honor county boundaries to maintain what it believes are natural rivalries, which lead to more attendance and revenue. As a result, Gwinnett County’s 17 Class AAAAAA schools will play in two Gwinnett-only regions again in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

That makes sense, but while it benefits Gwinnett, it makes travel longer for schools outside of Gwinnett.

Consider Tucker’s point of view. Tucker is 7.5 miles from Parkview. Both have football programs with some history. They’ve never played each other and were not placed in the same region. Tucker is 7.6 miles from Berkmar. Both have state-contending basketball teams. But Tucker is on the wrong side of the railroad track and was placed in a region with schools from Rockdale, Newton and Clayton counties. Tucker’s average round-trip region contest for the next two academic years will be 60 miles.

Is there a better way?

If the goal were strictly to minimize total travel for all 65 schools in AAAAAA, then yes. That’s the conclusion of Loren Maxwell, the math and computer whiz who does the Maxwell Ratings. Maxwell came up with computer solution designed to produce the fewest total miles statewide for region contents in all sports. His computer-generated proposal would shave 1,413 miles of travel, or roughly 22 miles per team, over two football seasons.

And that’s just one sport. The mileage saved would be twice that for basketball because region schedules typically are a double round-robin.  And the double those miles again if the boys and girls teams don’t travel together. And then multiply further to account for softball and wrestling and tennis and baseball and the rest.

The AAAAAA school that would benefit the most in a model that minimizes travel statewide would be Tucker. Tucker’s average round trip next football season will be 60.85 miles. Tucker’s average trip would be 20.36 miles if county boundaries were ignored and travel was minimized for the classification as a whole.

Is there a downside? Yes, if you’re in Gwinnett County. Maxwell’s spreads Gwinnett’s 17 schools over four regions. The average round-trip travel for Gwinnett teams would rise to 28.7 from 21.9. But the average round-trip travel for schools in regions 2 and 3 – basically metro Atlanta schools not in Gwinnett, North Fulton or North/West Cobb – would drop to 44.6 from 54.0.

In the chart below, ADD = the average driving distance round-trip to each region rival.  Region 1-AAAAAA remains the same.

 

School 2014-15 ADD Proposed ADD Diff
Camden County 1 – AAAAAA 289.64 1 – AAAAAA 289.64 0.00
Colquitt County 1 – AAAAAA 122.90 1 – AAAAAA 122.90 0.00
Lee County 1 – AAAAAA 194.25 1 – AAAAAA 194.25 0.00
Lowndes 1 – AAAAAA 130.95 1 – AAAAAA 130.95 0.00
Tift County 1 – AAAAAA 122.95 1 – AAAAAA 122.95 0.00
Valdosta 1 – AAAAAA 126.58 1 – AAAAAA 126.58 0.00
Alcovy 2 – AAAAAA 66.98 2 – AAAAAA 62.37 -4.61
Archer 8 – AAAAAA 21.93 2 – AAAAAA 41.29 19.36
Dacula 8 – AAAAAA 26.00 2 – AAAAAA 54.62 28.62
Grayson 8 – AAAAAA 20.82 2 – AAAAAA 39.35 18.53
Newton 2 – AAAAAA 50.87 2 – AAAAAA 46.04 -4.83
Rockdale County 2 – AAAAAA 49.79 2 – AAAAAA 42.93 -6.86
Douglas County 3 – AAAAAA 43.84 3 – AAAAAA 53.27 9.43
East Coweta 3 – AAAAAA 67.60 3 – AAAAAA 56.23 -11.37
Langston Hughes 3 – AAAAAA 40.29 3 – AAAAAA 38.79 -1.50
Lovejoy 2 – AAAAAA 70.02 3 – AAAAAA 63.25 -6.77
Newnan 3 – AAAAAA 70.23 3 – AAAAAA 60.26 -9.97
Pebblebrook 3 – AAAAAA 40.17 3 – AAAAAA 54.91 14.74
Westlake 3 – AAAAAA 39.25 3 – AAAAAA 44.99 5.74
Campbell 3 – AAAAAA 52.70 4 – AAAAAA 24.48 -28.22
Harrison 4 – AAAAAA 15.56 4 – AAAAAA 18.31 2.75
Hillgrove 4 – AAAAAA 16.17 4 – AAAAAA 17.47 1.30
Kennesaw Mountain 4 – AAAAAA 17.24 4 – AAAAAA 19.63 2.39
Marietta 4 – AAAAAA 18.47 4 – AAAAAA 18.26 -0.21
McEachern 4 – AAAAAA 18.43 4 – AAAAAA 18.14 -0.29
North Cobb 4 – AAAAAA 21.02 4 – AAAAAA 23.73 2.71
North Paulding 4 – AAAAAA 34.62 4 – AAAAAA 39.10 4.48
Osborne 4 – AAAAAA 25.25 4 – AAAAAA 21.56 -3.69
South Cobb 3 – AAAAAA 43.22 4 – AAAAAA 25.67 -17.55
Cherokee 5 – AAAAAA 37.62 5 – AAAAAA 37.62 0.00
Etowah 5 – AAAAAA 26.29 5 – AAAAAA 26.29 0.00
Lassiter 5 – AAAAAA 17.82 5 – AAAAAA 17.82 0.00
Milton 5 – AAAAAA 25.63 5 – AAAAAA 25.63 0.00
Pope 5 – AAAAAA 19.04 5 – AAAAAA 19.04 0.00
Roswell 5 – AAAAAA 20.49 5 – AAAAAA 20.49 0.00
Walton 5 – AAAAAA 25.36 5 – AAAAAA 25.36 0.00
Wheeler 5 – AAAAAA 26.57 5 – AAAAAA 26.57 0.00
Woodstock 5 – AAAAAA 25.87 5 – AAAAAA 25.87 0.00
Alpharetta 6 – AAAAAA 32.31 6 – AAAAAA 17.59 -14.72
Centennial 6 – AAAAAA 40.25 6 – AAAAAA 20.99 -19.26
Chattahoochee 6 – AAAAAA 30.33 6 – AAAAAA 14.61 -15.72
Duluth 7 – AAAAAA 20.06 6 – AAAAAA 15.20 -4.86
Johns Creek 6 – AAAAAA 32.24 6 – AAAAAA 13.71 -18.53
Lambert 6 – AAAAAA 30.51 6 – AAAAAA 19.00 -11.51
Norcross 7 – AAAAAA 28.22 6 – AAAAAA 17.82 -10.40
Northview 6 – AAAAAA 30.31 6 – AAAAAA 12.73 -17.58
Peachtree Ridge 7 – AAAAAA 18.43 6 – AAAAAA 20.87 2.44
South Forsyth 6 – AAAAAA 30.66 6 – AAAAAA 22.52 -8.14
Berkmar 8 – AAAAAA 19.87 7 – AAAAAA 15.30 -4.57
Brookwood 8 – AAAAAA 15.03 7 – AAAAAA 17.64 2.61
Central Gwinnett 8 – AAAAAA 16.57 7 – AAAAAA 23.01 6.44
Lakeside 2 – AAAAAA 60.67 7 – AAAAAA 31.04 -29.63
Meadowcreek 7 – AAAAAA 27.23 7 – AAAAAA 18.36 -8.87
Parkview 8 – AAAAAA 20.81 7 – AAAAAA 15.85 -4.96
Shiloh 8 – AAAAAA 19.21 7 – AAAAAA 17.82 -1.39
South Gwinnett 8 – AAAAAA 15.41 7 – AAAAAA 19.55 4.14
Tucker 2 – AAAAAA 60.85 7 – AAAAAA 20.36 -40.49
Collins Hill 7 – AAAAAA 21.09 8 – AAAAAA 43.21 22.12
Habersham Central 6 – AAAAAA 121.51 8 – AAAAAA 102.73 -18.78
Mill Creek 7 – AAAAAA 33.32 8 – AAAAAA 46.91 13.59
Mountain View 7 – AAAAAA 26.67 8 – AAAAAA 41.21 14.54
North Forsyth 6 – AAAAAA 43.51 8 – AAAAAA 50.95 7.44
North Gwinnett 7 – AAAAAA 22.39 8 – AAAAAA 39.54 17.15
West Forsyth 6 – AAAAAA 36.20 8 – AAAAAA 52.52 16.32
9 comments
RobFromNorcross
RobFromNorcross

Right now Tucker has a guaranteed spot in the playoffs for the next two years, I doubt if they are complaining...

glw72
glw72

@1AAAAAA Fan


Yeah there is really no perfect plan.  I mean even if you followed this model, do you think Pebblebrook  would really want to be the only school from Cobb in a Region with teams from Coweta co and Lovejoy?  


As far as how many classes we need...I would prefer 4 or 5 classes. I think 6 (with 7 championships) is too many.  

1AAAAAA Fan
1AAAAAA Fan

I for one would like to play with his program to see what it would do with other classifications.


Or just everybody in a whole to see if we might get a general idea HOW MANY classifications this state really needs.

ToddHolcomb
ToddHolcomb moderator

Good comments. But to one who described this article as a gripe, I'm sorry you read it that way. I've gotten lots of emails about this. Thought it was worth exploring, especially since Loren can provide something I've never seen before - a math model that minimizes travel. Fun to look at it. Does that mean I think Gwinnett should  be split across four regions? I never said that. This is just food for thought.

glw72
glw72

I dont have a problem with Gwinnett having 2 regions of their own. With 17 schools it offers a convenient breakdown into 2 regions. Tucker has had the same scenario with playing with many of their Dekalb mates the past several years and allowed for them to build rivalries with MLK, Stephenson and SWD over the years.  Being aligned with teams from the same counties does build stronger rivalries and thereby bigger "gates", not only for football but all sports. 

1AAAAAA Fan
1AAAAAA Fan

*ROTFLMAO*

I know several people on GAVSV.Com who's going to have a field day with this article!

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

have to draw the line somewhere.  someone (i.e. you) will always gripe

The_SAWB
The_SAWB

Whenever possible teams should play within their own school districts as Gwinnett currently does. Basically folks around Parkview get much more excited about playing Brookwood than they ever would about playing Tucker.

1AAAAAA Fan
1AAAAAA Fan

@glw72@1AAAAAA Fan  

The GHSA "brags" about cutting down expenses & travelling.  So, if you base things off that instead of what "looks good to you", then (as the article proves), schools 8 miles from each other should be competing instead of one of them going 60+ mi.. 

Then you wouldn't get into this whole "split conferences" in sports like we do this year.  SMH!


The trouble is that there is no good overall solution for S. Ga. & N. Ga. - what benefits 1 hurts the other.  S. Ga. would do better with 5 (or less) classifications.  N. Ga., with 95% of the biggest schools in the state, fair better with more classifications so you're not having schools competing with others ~2X bigger.